SansAmp Character Series
Oxford, U.S. Steel, and Leeds
you want hulking, Recto-like muscle
in a pipsqueak-sized box.
you prefer a high-gain option that
lets your guitar’s voice shine through.
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Chugging, detuned riffs flowed easily from
my hands and felt very natural and inspired.
However, I was surprised that, when I
played a Schecter Hellraiser with EMGs
through the U.S. Steel, it sounded very
similar to my Les Paul with Sheptone PAFs.
There was a slight difference in the gain,
which was easy to compensate for, but the
overall sound was clearly that of the pedal,
not the individual guitars. So, while the
Character knob brings in more thickness
and heaviness as you crank it, the basic
sound of the pedal is always very present.
The Final Mojo
If you’re after a mammoth, Recto-inspired
sound but have to record direct, you could
easily track with the U.S. Steel and few
listeners would be the wiser. The pedal
delivers an effective plug-and-play tone
that effortlessly channels the spirit of the
American metal amp.
The Leeds pedal is designed to emulate the
cool sonic characteristics of a Hiwatt head.
The Mid control is voiced at 400 Hz—the lowest of the three pedals reviewed here—while
the Low and High knobs are voiced identically